For many social workers, the major cause of failing the ASWB exam is test-anxiety. Regardless of how prepared you are for the exam, as the day approaches your anxiety is triggered as random thoughts begin rushing through your mind, “I heard the exam is difficult.” “Am I prepared enough?” “I’m not a good test-taker.” “What if I fail?” “Maybe I should reschedule the exam.” “I’m not sure I’m ready.” The problem is not the ASWB exam, it is your emotional state of mind. Negative self-talk may sabotage your ability to pass the exam. If you suffer from test anxiety or believe your reason for failing the exam was due to your anxiety, you should focus on spending more time researching effective ways to reduce your anxiety.
Whenever you begin to have negative thoughts about the exam, simply replace those thoughts with positive ones and visualize yourself passing the exam. Remember, you have control over your own thoughts and behavior. Your goal is to challenge the harsh inner critic that keeps pounding you in the head and empower yourself to think positively.
Meditation is a useful self-calming technique that can help you to stay focus and calm your thoughts. Using meditation to deal with your anxiety can change the way you perceive the exam and boost your performance. You don’t have to be an expert to benefit from meditation, you can find meditation videos on YouTube, on podcasts, or download meditation apps that can guide you through the relaxation process. Meditation does not mean sitting still for a long time, you can meditate wherever you are; when you are walking, running, while at school, work, or even taking public transportation. Spending only a few minutes each day meditating can over time replace your body’s anxiety response to stressful situations and restore peace of mind.
There are so many ways and techniques that you can use to reduce test anxiety; find what works best for you!